If you want a boot that is built around pure tradition, look no further than the ever graceful Puma King range! Since 1968, they have been one of the premier choices of players all around the world and we can understand why. There are not many boots that can survive the market for over 40+ years.
The latest installment, the Puma King Finale, absolutely look the part, and when you get them in your hands they match what you would expect from the high profile range. A few weeks back, I tested the Puma King Diego with very favorable results. Even though they are the same boot (besides design), I took some time to test the King Finale.
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Just like the King Diego, that romantic attachment kick off when you open the box and experience the genuine smell of real leather. Then there is a real quality feel when you hold them for the first time, gotta love how the leather gently creases as you touch it. When it got down to wearing them, they felt a little tight in the first few (3 total) training sessions, at which point I took them into a game. They seem to fit just a tad tight when you start out with them, but eventually the leather softened up and in the end they turned out to give a super comfortable fit. It is all about easing the leather in with the King range, so if you give them time to adjust they will work out pretty perfectly!
Size and Fit
It seems to be a trend with Puma releases at the moment, but they seem to fit slightly small. I wore a size 9US for testing and overall they worked out well. But, they did leave me wanting a little extra room while breaking them in. For those who do like a little extra space, I advise going up half a size. Since they are K-Leather, they will stretch over time and currently my pair are an excellent fit.
Design and Detailing
Puma keep a classic look and feel with a modern finish to the King Finale. The modern finish lies in the detailing added to the boot, like for example a yellow badge that displays the signature king’s crown on either side of the boot. The same style is used to display “KING” on the front of the boot, just above the strike zone. I am a big fan of how the mix of white and yellow are used on the outside of the boot, specifically around the heel region. The only thing I am not a huge fan of is the tongue – it seems to be shaped in an odd fashion and I would have preferred a primary black background. Check out this post if you want to read more on how the Finale compares to the Diego in terms of design.
On Field Performance
Since the King range has been around for such a long time, you know that you are getting quality when you put them on. That is of course as long as you are patient! In the first game they felt a little stiff and it took a little bit to adjust to the actual fit. But when these boots actually mold to your feet you feel a real connection with them. The leather just oozes class and I felt extra confident dribbling with the ball. The sole consists of 8 front and 4 back conical studs. Some players prefer blades and some prefer conical shaped studs, particularly when playing on artificial surfaces. Personally, I find both to give great traction during games, ultimately it is down to personal preference. During testing, the performance of the boot transitioned just as expected and I felt in the end they matched my expectations on the field.
My only real negative is the design of the tongue/lace cover – and this is just personal preference! For me, it was a little too bulky and the shape at the front is kind of odd. On a positive note, it stays in place really well as it has a very effective Velcro just underneath. The initial sizing issue was also a slight concern, but after testing and knowing that in the end they offer a superb fit, I have to move it from the negative side – just something to keep in mind as you break them in!
If you want a boot built on style and quality look no further than the ever classic Puma King Finale. The leather is the absolute highlight of this boot, and the extra detailing throughout the boot offers a different look. Best of all, the price of a pair stands at a very competitive $130, and in my opinion you are getting huge value for money. Puma also do a good job of keeping the boot in good stead weight wise, at a very competitive 9.2oz, leaving them very close to the new Nike CTR360 Maestri II (8.8oz) and lighter than the Adidas adiPure IV (9.8oz). In terms of players on the field, these boots are pretty much going to suit everyone from goalkeepers to forwards and have already been established in the top leagues around the world. Everton’s playmaker Mikel Arteta is just one player we have seen wearing them with style recently. Overall, another great release from Puma!